Supplemental insurance is a huge saving feature for many patients. It can also be a timely and expensive excursion down an unnecessary road. What is supplemental dental coverage, and is it useful?
The Basics of Supplemental Insurance Coverage
Supplemental coverage is a clear response to a dental cap. It is typically applied when patients reach the expense cap for their insurance. A policy may have a $3,000 yearly cap (which is rather high for many mid-tier policies), and that can be reached in a single procedure. Supplemental insurance is added to essentially raise the cap.
Features of Supplemental Insurance
Supplemental insurance does not necessarily replace an old policy. It extends it to include new features and caps, A supplemental plan is usually temporary. Most of them only apply for two years maximum. This is to work in favor of patients who only truly need it for a single, large procedure. Supplemental insurance may be removed if it is used, limiting the costs of future payments, but this is not always available.
Some supplemental plans have waiting periods and some do not. A waiting period could be upwards of a year depending on the policy. Be sure to confirm when the supplemental addition is active with the insurance provider. Dentists can often work with patients to break the procedure into parts to account for caps.
Supplemental insurance is a bit costly. Presumably, the only patients requesting the addition are patients who need to utilize it for a large-scale and costly procedure. Insurance providers know this all too well, enforcing large costs for supplemental plans. Patients should research the total cost with the supplemental addition and without it. For example, some dentists may apply a discount for uninsured patients. The reality of dealing with cash or credit payment is far easier than insurance, and that convenience can be applied to the cost.
Have an open dialogue with the dentist. Remain transparent about the overall situation. A dentist can guide a patient to the right solution for them. Patients can also check out the post right here for more details about how insurance is applied in the dental industry.